City Hall Mural Will Bring Loess Hills Scene To Glenwood Town Square


The mural to be painted on the south side of Glenwood City Hall will be 21 feet high and 121 feet wide.

A Mills County artist is bringing the beauty of the Loess Hills to Glenwood’s Town Square.

Artist Emily McQueen, owner of the Fine Arts On Fifth gallery in Malvern, has been hired to create a mural depicting the Loess Hills on the south side of the Glenwood City Hall building. Work on the  mural will begin around June 1 and be completed by the time RAGBRAI rolls into town in late July. In addition to McQueen, six other painters will be involved in the project, including Sharon and Ed Manhart of Arbor Street Studios, an Omaha mural company

Funding for the mural is coming from two sources - $10,000 in the form of a grant from Golden Hills RC&D (Resource, Conservation and Development) and $15,000 in ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) dollars from the City of Glenwood.

The city funds were approved at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Glenwood City Council, following a presentation by McQueen and Jennie Davis, Executive Director of the Mills County Chamber of Commerce - the organization spearheading the project.

“Emily was going to make it as large as she could for the initial $10,000 grant. We were calling that Phase I in hopes that we would be able to complete the entire mural in her Phase II,” Davis said. “Clearly, the city really likes the idea of completing it in one full swoop so that’s why they decided to kick in the additional $15,000 in ARPA funds.”

Council member Donnie Kates, who made the motion for the city to contribute $15,000 to the project, said the mural will be an asset to the Glenwood community.

“I think it will be a great addition to our city, our county, our community and to welcome visitors to our community,” Kates said.

Davis said the chamber was notified earlier this year about the availability of the grant funds.

“Golden Hills had received a grant to construct murals along the Loess Hills Scenic Byway and they wanted to know if we were interested,  and of course we were,” she said. “Part of the grant required that it was indicative of the Loess Hills. That’s basically the only instruction she  (Emily) had so that’s what she came up with. I know she used native flowers, native birds and things like that.”

Davis said her original hope was that a suitable spot for the mural could be identified along Locust Street, but a location never transpired. The wall along City Hall was suggested at a Mills County Tourism meeting, she said.

The Opinion-Tribune

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